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Questions tagged [baroque-period]

A time period in Western art music spanning between 1600-1760 CE, approximately.

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2 votes
1 answer
99 views

History of "white keys" and "black keys" as idiom

When explaining music theory in layman's terms, it's common to refer to "white keys" and "black keys" and take for granted that everyone knows what a piano looks like. But ...
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is this entire movement by Bach really only a single measure with just two chords?

I'm spending a lot more time with early music, and as I was studying the score to J. S. Bach's third Brandenburg Concerto, I encountered something unexpected: an entire Adagio movement that's only one ...
5 votes
2 answers
260 views

Figured Bass Standalone Accidentals

I'm wondering whether or not standalone accidentals always imply 3rds in figured bass notation. Is (5)(♭)(8) the same as (5)(3♭)(8)? Is (9)(♮) the same as (9)(3)? Can a figure 3 always be inserted ...
2 votes
4 answers
156 views

Can I play the BWV 863 prelude like this?

So, I'm learning the prelude and fugue in G-sharp minor from the Well-Tempered Clavier I (BWV 863). The prelude goes like this (see full score here): And I would like to play it like this: As you ...
9 votes
5 answers
929 views

Inconsistent number of beats per measure

This perhaps just betrays my ignorance, but I don't understand why in the attached piece, in 3/4 time, certain bars, such as 10 and 12, have 6 instead of 3 quarter notes, with no change in the time ...
3 votes
2 answers
85 views

Three consecutive dissonances in verset fugue

I've been playing from a collection of versets (fugues) by Gottlieb Muffat. https://imslp.org/wiki/72_Versetl_sammt_12_Toccaten_(Muffat%2C_Gottlieb) The versets are arranged by the old Church tones ...
4 votes
1 answer
316 views

Baroque mordent with leading "slur"?

I'm currently studying Bach's Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1052 on the piano and arrived at the second movement. In there, I noticed a mordent that I'm not all too sure how to play. Here's a picture, it's ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is this symbol?

This symbol from Les Baricades Mistérieuses, Couperin, 1717 is after the volta number 1. From recordings I can only guess a mordent. I've checked various music dictionaries and done several reverse ...
8 votes
1 answer
287 views

Pile up of ornaments in J.S.Bach's BWV 935

These are bars 19-23 in J.S. Bach's BWV 935, from the Sechs kleine Präludien für Anfänger auf dem Klavier: Can anyone spell out for me what should be played for that E in bar 23 adorned with a grace ...
5 votes
1 answer
987 views

How does one resolve the conflict between Renaissance theory of Cadences and the contradictions against it in Bach Chorales?

A level pupil. Made the mistake of learning Renaissance cadence voicing way before starting A-level harmony course. There's a conflict of interest between the cadential progressions of the renaissance ...
11 votes
2 answers
485 views

Accidentals and ornaments

These are the first two bars of J. S. Bach's Fughetta in c-moll (BWV 961) as edited by Henle. Does the second trillo in the second bar start on B flat, so that it cancels the natural on the previous ...
0 votes
0 answers
50 views

How do I play this rhythm? [duplicate]

I am trying to play the Largo from Vivaldi's Concerto for Flautino in C Major (RV 443), but I am not sure how to time this passage in measure 4: This piece is in 12/8 time, but the notes in this ...
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

What differs between the rondo and its Baroque counterpart, the ritornello?

So, ever since I heard the term ritornello, I have wondered what makes it different from the rondo. So I’ve listened to several pieces in ritornello form to try to find the difference, but I couldn’t. ...
4 votes
2 answers
166 views

What makes two dances that share the same meter and a similar tempo different?

Common practice music employs only a small handful of time signatures, but there is a multitude of different dances. The steps are different. But is there something other than meter and tempo that ...
4 votes
1 answer
212 views

Ornaments in baroque music: should be avoided in some cases?

In baroque music, often the performers add ornaments (or even more complex variations) to the written notes, mostly during a repeat. It's very common to hear them on Bach, Vivaldi, Marcello, etc... ...
2 votes
2 answers
57 views

When to use sixth in continuo according to Bianciardi?

From Bianciardi's Breve Regola (http://www.bassus-generalis.org/bianciardi/bianciardi.html): "But because some notes don’t have a fifth above, a sixth is used in its place; this happens in those ...
4 votes
2 answers
416 views

Is partimento a good way to learn how to write a Baroque trio sonata in the style of Corelli?

Who I am: I am 16 years old and I play violin. I am a music student and I consider myself to have a very good ear and understanding of music theory. My piano-playing is however not very good. I really ...
5 votes
1 answer
94 views

Interpreting the repeat signs in Handel's passacaglia (HWV 432)

In the urtext edition (page 84 of the pdf) that I found on IMSLP it looks as if the first period is repeated and then... the rest of the piece, without that first period, is played twice? That doesn't ...
3 votes
1 answer
139 views

French-language Baroque Music Suggestions

I have found Bach's vocal works to be a fun way to supplement learning German. I am also learning French, and I have tried looking for such works with French libretto but I have been unable to find ...
5 votes
1 answer
627 views

What is this natural trumpet?

In this picture of the London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble found here, one sees what I suppose are natural brass instruments. Does the trumpet in the lower right corner have a specific name? It has a ...
1 vote
0 answers
91 views

Rules for improvising intermediate notes in basso continuo

When realizing figured bass, passing notes in the bass are analyzed quite thoroughly in literature (e.g. The Art of Accompaniment from a Thorough Bass). However, I cannot find any information or rules ...
11 votes
2 answers
625 views

Optional notes in baroque clavier score?

I'm not a keyboard player so I'm not sure what the smaller notes in this score mean. Are they optional like an ossia or something to be played on a repeat or something else?
1 vote
2 answers
71 views

Dissonance in SWV 447

I'm a huge fan of Heinrich Schütz and in particular of the Dresdner Kammerchor's recordings of his work. This moment in bar 169 of "Vater Abraham, erbarme dich mein, SWV 447" really caught ...
1 vote
2 answers
361 views

Syncopation in classical music [closed]

Can anyone can point me, a lay person, to good examples of syncopation in classical music? I'm also wondering if syncopation shows up at all in Baroque music. Thank you.
3 votes
5 answers
3k views

MIDI keyboard action for harpsichord practice

I'm a former pianist who would like to own and play an acoustic grand harpsichord one day, but until i finish school and have a more permanent living situation that will be neither practical nor ...
3 votes
3 answers
434 views

Recorder type for Telemann's music piece

I notice there are some compositions by GP Telemann for recorder. I just want to know what type of recorder (alto or soprano) should be used for playing Telemann's pieces.
2 votes
0 answers
104 views

Baroque composing [closed]

What defines a "trio" style. As in, if I were composing a piece on the piano how do I compose it in a "trio" style
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is Gould playing extra notes in Bach's Toccata in C Minor, and if so, why?

In Glenn Gould's recording of Bach's Toccata in C Minor, it sounds like he modifies the melody in the the right hand to add two extra notes You can hear it here. Is this just a Gould improvisation, ...
5 votes
2 answers
563 views

Bach's keyboard concertos on fortepiano?

It is known that J.S.Bach was acquainted with the fortepiano at least twice in his life, in 1726 when he played one of Silbermann's experimental models (and mildly criticized it), and toward the end ...
4 votes
0 answers
88 views

Number of subject/answer entries in 16th/18th Century fugal counterexpositions

I'm studying the difference between 16th and 18th Century fugues. I've noticed something and wonder whether it is a notable trend, or just a coincidence. First, consider this fugue from Missa Dies ...
1 vote
0 answers
26 views

Can you recall the author and name of a baroque Passacaille or Chaconne which uses both the descending and the ascending tetrachord in the bass? [closed]

I happened to listen to a baroque passacaille or chaconne for strings on the air. It used both the descending and the ascending tetrachord in the ostinato bass. I wasn't able to find anything on the ...
-1 votes
1 answer
427 views

Why was Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor (Bach) composed?

I'm doing an assignment on a baroque period composition, and I chose Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor by J.S. Bach. One of the things I need to do is explain why it was actually composed. I'm having a ...
6 votes
4 answers
12k views

What does the plus (+) ornament mean?

I am learning a baroque piece on the recorder. Some notes have an unusual ornamentation symbol. How is a note with a plus sign over it played? It was suggested to play it as a mordent. Is that correct?...
4 votes
2 answers
567 views

Did Bach call for male countertenor for the Alto solo part for his cantatas / passion oratorios?

I see a recent trend for countertenors to sing the alto parts for Bach's cantata / passion oratorios such as Maarten Engeltjes in Magnificat and Tim Mead in St. Matthew Passion. Is this recent trend ...
50 votes
5 answers
12k views

When were the terms "Major" and "Minor" applied to keys?

In 1547, Heinrich Glarean published Dodecachordon in which he posited that in addition to the 4 existing pairs of church modes (plagal and authentic versions of modes with finals on D (Dorian), E (...
2 votes
2 answers
230 views

what does continuo mean?

In the sheet music for BWV1, "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" the last instrument is labeled as "continuo". What does that mean?
7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Should you play baroque pieces a semitone lower?

I haven't really been able to find an answer to this question. I've only noticed that most instruments during the baroque period were tuned a semitone lower (A=415 Hz I believe). So shouldn't it make ...
17 votes
3 answers
7k views

Baroque music composed in the 21st century

Which characteristically Baroque elements of music composition still have currency in the 21st century? Are there any 21st-century composers or songwriters who still compose primarily or largely in ...
6 votes
2 answers
429 views

When realizing a basso continuo, should the realization avoid consecutive fifths and octaves with the written parts?

Many continuo manuals (both historical sources and modern treatises) are careful to point out that a continuo realization should be contrapuntally correct, i.e., one ought to avoid parallel fifths and ...
5 votes
2 answers
678 views

Functional analysis of chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' BWV 244/46

I did some analysis of the chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' (from Matthew Passion BWV 244 no.46), see below. But how would I analyse the first chord in measure 2? Obviously, it's an E ...
5 votes
4 answers
274 views

What are the base notes that different tuning system used?

I’m trying to understand how the different tuning systems and temperaments were used from the past. Would people tune their instruments based on the key of the piece they were going to play? Is there ...
2 votes
1 answer
216 views

"Row, row, row your boat" and Telemann's Concerto in B Flat TWV44:43

Does the same rhythm from "Row, row, row your boat" copy the ending of Telemann's Concerto? It appears lots of music copied the style of the Baroque era.
6 votes
1 answer
577 views

ornamentation in keyboard music of William Byrd

I'm working through some tunes by Byrd, and am wondering about the ornamentation, the two diagonal slashes through the note stem. As far as I can tell, we don't actually know what the composers of ...
2 votes
1 answer
447 views

Did Bach use a pendulum clock as a metronome?

The reason I ask is because I have heard say that tempo ordinario is something like 60 bpm. Is it much of a stretch to assume Bach and his contemporaries could have used pendulum clocks as metronomes (...
2 votes
1 answer
225 views

Augmented and Diminished (Fifth) Chords Baroque Notation

Hello ¿Does anybody know what is the baroque notation of Augmented & Diminished (Fifth) chords? I'm talking about of chords like this: C-E-G# & C-E-Gb I need the baroque notation, for example: ...
3 votes
4 answers
304 views

A romantic era piece has a baroque era title: how does one determine the style?

J. Danbé's "Petite Gavotte" (ca. 1888) for violin and piano seems to be baroque mainly because of the title, "Gavotte", which was a common baroque dance. But I can't find any ...
3 votes
2 answers
158 views

Where can I read more about Monteverdi's role in the evolution of the orchestra?

I have seen it mentioned here and there that Claudio Monteverdi was the first composer to score for a specific set of instruments, for his opera Orfeo in 1607, and that this had a significant impact ...
3 votes
3 answers
200 views

Baroque ornamentation is not consistent across editions of the same piece

Here are two versions of the Quodlibet from Bach's Goldberg Variations. As you can see in the attachments, the ornaments and the recommendations as to how to play them are exactly opposite. One shows ...
19 votes
4 answers
4k views

Who was listening to Bach's compositions in his lifetime?

Who ever encountered his work? Was his music played somewhere else in Europe, or only where he lived? What strata of society had any chance of coming into contact with his music? What might be the ...
11 votes
5 answers
1k views

Function of augmented-fifth in figured bass

What is the harmonic function of the 5+ in the figured bass in the following snippet? If I have interpreted the figuring correctly, a F♯ figured 5+ should realise the triad F♯ A C𝄪. I am confused ...